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Boldly Going
Star Trek Quick Scenarios for Full Thrust

Dawn of the Third Age
A Babylon 5 Full Thrust Scenario

The Romluans
alien races in Star Trek Full Thrust

Senior Officers to the Bridge characters in Star Trek Full Thrust

The Tholians
alien races in Star Trek Full Thrust

Reaching the Threshold
Threshold Cards for Star Trek Full Thrust

Threshold Cards - Designer's Notes

Data's Day
scenario for Star Trek Full Thrust

Enagage the Cloaking Device
hide and seek in Star Trek Full Thrust

Star Trek II
the wargaming implications of Khan


The Tholians
By Garry Milton

Among the many alien powers of the galaxy in Star Trek and The Next Generation, are some comparatively minor races, although only occupying a small area of space, can a pose a military challenge to one of the major powers.

The Tholians are a race of beings that evolved in a searing hot methane environment, and seem to possess a hive culture similar to the Borg. However, although Tholians are modified to perform specific functions from birth, they are more individualistic than the Borg, operating in a similar manner to other life forms, but with some of the traits of the Hive Culture. These traits lead them to function slightly more efficiently than other races, but they are not as single minded at the Borg.

The Tholians are fiercely isolationist, guarding their borders against any intrusion, with constant patrols. It is not known if the Tholians are simply not interested in expansion, or biding their time in order to wait for the right moment. At present, they're not interested in forming trade links with any other space-faring culture.

The Tholian Navy

The Military Arm (it is not known if there is a civilian population) of the Tholian Assembly, when first encountered by the Federation, seemed based entirely on defensive tactics and design theories. The major weapon of the time was an energy web. Two or more Tholian craft would weave their energy web around a starship, then tow it back to a base. This worked fine on Federation vessels which strayed into Tholian space. However, when a Klingon K'agga Class Cruiser was approached in this manner, the Captain was unwilling to simply sit in space and allow this to happen.

After the four Tholian craft were destroyed, and the Klingon vessel went on its way, the Tholian military went through a drastic rethink. For nearly a year, there was very little contact between the Tholians and any outside cultures. Then they came back.

The old style Tholian vessels had undergone a drastic re-fit, with the actual Web Generators reduced to a secondary system. An entire new range of combat vessels were deployed, all with a vastly improved offensive capacity. It is thought of as poetic justice that the first vessel to experience the business end of the new Tholians was a Klingon K't'inga Class Cruiser. In a fierce confrontation, the Klingon vessel barely managed to limp away, whereas the Tholian ship was practically undamaged. The lesson was well learnt, and the Tholian ships were never underestimated again.

Tholian Starships in Full Thrust

Guardian Class Patrol Cruiser

  • Mass 22 NSD = 4
  • Damage = 11
  • Screens x 1
  • 2 x "C" Batteries (1 fpa, 1 fsa)
  • 1 x Light Web Crusher

Defender Class Light Cruiser

  • Mass 30 NSD = 4
  • Damage = 15
  • FTL
  • Screens x 1
  • 2 x "C" Batteries (1 fpa, 1 fsa)
  • 1 x "B" Battery (fps)
  • 1 x Light Web Crusher

Balwark Class Medium Cruiser

  • Mass 34 NSD = 5
  • Damage = 17
  • FTL
  • Screens x 2
  • 1 x "C" Battery (fps)
  • 2 x "B" Batteries (1 fpa, 1 fsa)
  • 1 x Medium Web Crusher

Bastion Class Heavy Cruiser

  • Mass 36 NSD = 5
  • Damage = 18
  • FTL
  • Screens x 2
  • 2 x "B" Batteries (1 fpa, 1 fsa)
  • 1 x "A" Battery (fps)
  • 1 x Medium Web Crusher

Repulse Class Battlecrusier

  • Mass 40 NSD = 6
  • Damage = 20
  • FTL
  • Screens x 2
  • 1 x "B" Battery (fps)
  • 2 x "A" Batteries (1 fpa, 1 fsa)
  • 1 x Heavy Web Crusher

Retribution Class Battleship

  • Mass 50 NSD = 6
  • Damage = 25
  • FTL
  • Screens x 3
  • 3 x "A" Batteries (1 fpa, 1 fsa 1 fps)
  • 1 x Heavy Web Crusher

Web Crushers

This is an extension of the Web Generator technology. A small portion of web is produced in a special firing chamber, then projected at the target. It envelopes the enemy vessel, then constricts, burning up its energy as it shrinks. Eventually, there is insufficient energy remaining in the web for it to remain cohesive, and it "falls apart". However, any target hit by such a weapon may not fire torpedoes of any kind in the turn, as they will strike the web and explode.

The Web Crusher cannot cause critical hits, as the damage is spread too widely about the target. To-hit numbers improve with the size of the weapon, as the actual web generated is larger. The damage is scored by rolling the appropriate dice, applying the modifiers as given, and reducing the damage by one per functioning screen.

Well that's it for the Tholians. I find the concept fascinating, and it is a shame that the Next Generation did not choose to expand on this race, although they have been mentioned on at least two occasions, are important enough to be included in Starfleet Combat Simulations (see Data's analysis of Commander Riker's command ability in the Season Two episode "Peak Performance").

Also, in Classic Trek (or TOS), they were one of the only minor races to get their own starship model (even the Klingons had to wait for Season Two), although they did glue a couple of Warp nacelles on it, and use it in the infamous "Revenge of the Space Hippies" episode!


The Tholians have now made an appearance in Enterprise the new series of Star Trek based before TOS.

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